A short anthology of changing climate

Guest post by Tony Brown

Context is everything, and nowhere more so than in climate history, where a graphic such as this seems to illustrate an alarming uptick in temperatures that has been blamed on modern man and his profligate burning of CO2;

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Table 1 http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/

But take one step back;

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Table 2 http://www.berkeleyearth.org/analysis.php

And the recent analysis from BEST seems to illustrate a tantalizing suggestion that the warming observed by GISS to 1880 was merely part of a longer term trend.

Take several even longer steps backwards, through the medium of Central England temperature (CET) the oldest and most examined instrumental data set in the world- maintained by the UK’s Met office- and this puts GISS into further historic context, in that the temperature rise extends-with numerous advances and reverses- all the way to 1659.

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Table 3 http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c0120a7c87805970b-pi

This long slow thaw is clearly at odds with the current view of climate history, best described by the UK Met office-a prime contributor through the Hadley centre to the IPCC assessments, who assert:

Extract “Before the twentieth century, when man-made greenhouse gas emissions really took off, there was an underlying stability to global climate. The temperature varied from year to year, or decade to decade, but stayed within a certain range and averaged out to an approximately steady level.”

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/policymakers/policy/slowdown.html

The IPCC themselves say;

1 IPCC FAQ 6.2 Page114 of TAR4.

All published reconstructions find that temperatures were warm during medieval times, cooled to low values in the 16th 17th 18th 19th centuries, then warmed rapidly after that.’

The author has twice requested the Met office to provide the studies used in their assertions, but to date, although acknowledgement of the request was made, no information has been forthcoming.

The Met office and IPCC view of climate history appears to have been formulated as a result of the iconic ‘hockey stick’, which reversed the existing knowledge of climate history.

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Table 4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hockey_stick_controversy

The hockey stick shows a relatively stable climate with a modest cooling trend from 1500 –after the brief dip and recovery immediately preceding it -until the dramatic upsurge in temperatures from around 1900. The period prior to 1900 was calculated through a variety of proxies such as tree rings, and appears to be at odds with the many instrumental records available, and also of -currently unfashionable- first hand historical observations and records which are available in abundance.

That temperature trends were rising gently throughout the instrumental period from 1659 to the present day should prompt the question as to when it commenced, as it would be the most amazing coincidence should it start during the first year that instrumental records became available.

After extensive research- including in the archives of the Met office- my own estimate would be that the low point was reached around 1607/8 (the subject of a future article) following a period of decline from around 1560, which in itself had reached a peak around that time following the short lived but intense cold of the first ‘little ice age’. In this context therefore the official Hadley/Cru global temperature figure from 1850 or Giss from 1880 can be seen as a continuation of this warming trend-which had already started by the time the Mayflower set sail- and not the start of it.

Other intriguing things that commenced in 1607 are mentioned here;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1607

In this article we shall therefore follow this gently warming trend from the first decades of the 17th century, after first identifying the dates of the decline seen in the previous half century.

First it is useful to mention that the expression ‘Little Ice age,’ is something of a misnomer. What we can determine with certainty, by looking at the available instrumental data and related historical observation, is that there were undoubtedly some anomalously cold periods which captures the episodic and very wide spread nature of the mis-termed Little Ice Age. It is mis-termed because during this era there were also some very warm periods, and every condition in between, and the popular impression of unremitting cold for 400 years or more is inaccurate. The episodically severe nature-often on a year on year basis- may explain why some reconstructions appear to be unable to accurately model the considerable fluctuations in climate experienced during this time.

The LIA was in fact a phrase first introduced into scientific literature by François E. Matthes as recently as 1939, who subsequently believed the term ‘neo-glaciation’ was more accurate.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoglaciation

The second phase of the LIA was at its intermittent severest for some 150 years from around 1560, with the coldest year probably being 1607/8 and a further notable-and well documented- prolonged dip in the second half of the 17th century. The severity of the episodic LIA sharply diminished around 1700 (although it did recur, in successive centuries) and the dramatic rise in temperatures during the early part of the 18th century is unparalleled in the entire CET record. This long steady (overall) rise is therefore evident throughout the instrumental record of CET from 1660, and confirmed by other instrumental data sets from the early 18th Century onwards, although the general warming was still interspersed with several relatively short lived reverses.

These next two links show the long, gentle, warming trend, evidenced from numerous historic instrumental records. Virtually all the cities concerned have become heavily urbanized, thereby also demonstrating the likely effects of UHI, especially in recent decades.

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Table 5 http://i47.tinypic.com/2zgt4ly.jpg

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Table 6 http://i45.tinypic.com/125rs3m.jpg

(both sets of graphics copyright 2009 Nick Willmore)

Historic instrumental data, plus other articles are carried here on the author’s web site.

http://climatereason.com/LittleIceAgeThermometers/

The global 1850 Cru and 1880 Giss records can thus start to be seen more readily in their broader context, as merely plugging into the middle of an already well-established long warming trend-and not heralding the beginning.

In the remainder of this article we will primarily concern ourselves with demonstrating the reality of this long warming trend by highlighting the somewhat lesser known periods of warmth, up until the modern era, that punctuated the better documented cold, from approximately 1560 onwards. However we shall start the observational portion of this short (and by no means comprehensive) climatic anthology with a somewhat chilling quote from 1300 years earlier. This marked the precursor to the intermittent start of the Dark ages cold period, following another notable climatic epoch-that of the warm Roman optimum. (The first comment noted hereunder is eerily reflected by the quote immediately following, which heralds the start of the new cooling epoch in the middle decades of the 16th century.)

Saint Cyrian was Bishop of Carthage around 250AD.* (see Note 1) He was talking about the huge increase in Rome’s population which had caused wars against Carthage and the building of 500 towns in North Africa to satisfy the eternal city’s ever increasing needs for timber, cereal, and exotic animals for its gladiatorial contests. Here is an account of lack of sustainability and climate change caused by a variety of factors, with the hints of a decline in the warm climate that had sustained Rome now starting to work against them as it intermittently turned cooler

The world has grown old and does not remain in its former vigour. It bears witness to its own decline. The rainfall and the suns warmth are both diminishing. The metals are nearly exhausted the husbandman is failing in his fields. Springs which once gushed forth liberally now barely give a trickle of water.’

Around 1560 the Rev Schaller, pastor of Strendal in the Prussian Alps wrote;

There is no real constant sunshine neither a steady winter nor summer, the earth’s crops and produce do not ripen, are no longer as healthy as they were in bygone years. The fruitfulness of all creatures and of the world as a whole is receding, fields and grounds have tired from bearing fruits and even become impoverished, thereby giving rise to the increase of prices and famine, as is heard in towns and villages from the whining and lamenting among the farmers.”

The reality of this period of cold is reinforced by this account from 1610 when John Taylor, talking of the hills around him in Deeside Scotland, remarked that “the oldest men alive never saw but snow on the top of divers of these hills both in summer as in winter.”

(Both quotes from the book ‘The Little Ice Age’ by Brian Fagan)

However, that mild conditions can prevail even during the harshest periods of the LIA can also be seen here, when we examine the arrival of the Mayflower in America in 1620. The initial cold weather quickly gave way to a mild winter described here;

http://www.stormfax.com/thanksgv.htm

The winter of 1620-’21 was “a calm winter, such as was never seen here since,” wrote Thomas Dudley of Massachusetts Bay in 1630.  Edward Winslow, one of the original Pilgrims, also wrote about the “remarkable mildness” of that first winter in Good Newes from New England, published in 1624.  There was testimony by others to a mild end of December, a moderate January, a brief cold spell with sleet and some snow in early February, followed by definitely mild conditions and an early spring.”

A brief breakdown in the cold trend in Britain was also observed in the diary entry of Samuel Pepys for January 1660/61-the year the Royal Society was established- when he wrote;

It is strange what weather we have had all this winter; no cold at all; but the ways are dusty, and the flyes fly up and down, and the rose-bushes are full of leaves, such a time of the year as was never known in this world before here.”

That summers could still be hot was felt during 1666 when the UK had an extremely hot dry summer (brought on by a blocking high pressure system over Scandinavia). The hot dry North easterlies helped spread the devastating Great fire of London in 1666. The following winter, however was so cold that the great oak trees of the English Midlands split. (Humidity has a great part to play in temperatures)

The growing warmth of the early part of the 18th Century was noted here by Hubert Lamb on page 12 and 13 of this study;

http://tinyurl.com/5vvvp9r

The remarkable turn of the climate of Europe towards greater warmth from soon after the beginning of the eighteenth century and affecting all seasons of the year in the 1730’s seems to have produced little comment at the time, though by then the temperatures were being observed with thermometers and entered into regularly maintained observation books in a number of places.”

Our modern bouts of amnesia regarding previous climatic conditions can be seen to be nothing new by reading the comments from the annals of Dumfermline Scotland from 1733/4, when it recorded that wheat was first grown in the district in 1733. Lamb wryly observes that was not correct, as enough wheat had been grown further north in the early 1500’s to sustain an export trade (before the 1560’s downturn).

This information also usefully confirms a warm period around that date, to one that had changed to a cold period by the time of Pastor Schaller commenting in 1560.

The warmth in the early decades of the 1700’s could also be discerned in the author’s article here, where CET records can be matched to that of Uppsala Sweden and where observations from the Botanical gardens illustrate the growing warmth. There is also a comparison to nearby Stockholm, where the effects of UHI on urbanized stations can be seen.

http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/10/09/how-long-is-a-long-temperature-history/

The following, condensed from the records of the Hudson Bay Company, also demonstrate that climate change is not a new phenomenon, and was not restricted to Europe.

Over the fifteen years between 1720 and 1735, the first snowfall of the year moved from the first week of September to the last. Also, the late 1700s were turbulent years. They were extremely cold but annual snow cover would vary from ‘extreme depth to no cover’. For instance, November 10th 1767 only one snowfall that quickly thawed had been recorded. June 6, 1791 many feet of snow in the post’s gardens. The entry for July 14, 1798 reads ‘…53 degrees colder today than it was yesterday.”

This next excerpt comes from the extensive weather records of Thomas Jefferson; (the warm weather of the early 1700’s has given way to intense cold then another period of warmth)

http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/JEFFERSON/ch07.html

A change in our climate however is taking place very sensibly. Both heats and colds are become much more moderate within the memory even of the middle-aged. Snows are less frequent and less deep. They do not often lie, below the mountains, more than one, two, or three days, and very rarely a week. They are remembered to have been formerly frequent, deep, and of long continuance. The elderly inform me the earth used to be covered with snow about three months in every year. The rivers, which then seldom failed to freeze over in the course of the winter, scarcely ever do so now. This change has produced an unfortunate fluctuation between heat and cold, in the spring of the year, which is very fatal to fruits. From the year 1741 to 1769, an interval of twenty-eight years, there was no instance of fruit killed by the frost in the neighbourhood of Monticello. An intense cold, produced by constant snows, kept the buds locked up till the sun could obtain, in the spring of the year, so fixed an ascendancy as to dissolve those snows, and protect the buds, during their development, from every danger of returning cold. The accumulated snows of the winter remaining to be dissolved all together in the spring, produced those over flowings of our rivers, so frequent then, and so rare now.” (From observation 1772 to 1779)

Here the warming trends in Prague 1770 hint at an intriguing example of subsequently adjusted data;

http://motls.blogspot.com/2010/02/climate-czechgate-pragues-klementinum.html

In the Australia of 1791 we have a record which has clear resonance with modern times.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/t/tench/watkin/

But even this heat was judged to be far exceeded in the latter end of the following February, when the north-west wind again set in, and blew with great violence for three days. At Sydney, it fell short by one degree of what I have just recorded: but at Rose Hill, it was allowed, by every person, to surpass all that they had before felt, either there or in any other part of the world. Unluckily they had no thermometer to ascertain its precise height. It must, however, have been intense, from the effects it produced. An immense flight of bats driven before the wind, covered all the trees around the settlement, whence they every moment dropped dead or in a dying state, unable longer to endure the burning state of the atmosphere. Nor did the ‘perroquettes’, though tropical birds, bear it better. The ground was strewn with them in the same condition as the bats.”

The account later relates-reinforcing the realities of inconsistent methodologies commented on over a century ago by the eminent climatologist Dr Von Hann-“The thermometer, whence my observations were constantly made, was hung in the open air in a southern aspect, never reached by the rays of the sun, at the distance of several feet above the ground.”

From America we have this contemporary comment;

The temperature of the winter season, in northern latitudes, has suffered a material change, and become warmer in modern, than it was in ancient times. … Indeed I know not whether any person, in this age, has ever questioned the fact.” —Noah Webster, 1758-1843 (founder- Webster’s dictionary)

In this next article the author looked at the lives and times of famous people living in Teignmouth on the South Coast of England in order to examine the warming trend-punctuated by cold periods- experienced in Europe through the 19th Century by following one of this town’s famous sons-the harpist Elias Parish Alvars- as he travels through Europe on concert tours.

http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/travels-in-Europe-part-1/

His birth in 1808 saw a distinctly Little Ice age CET mean temperature of only 8.84C with a decadal 1800-1809 CET of 9.17C a prelude to what remains as about the coldest decade from that day to this during 1810-1819 at 8.798C.” (This era of growing warmth following this bitterly cold decade was also recounted in my account of the early life of Charles Dickens referenced later)

Following observations from whalers from the same port of Teignmouth, we have this from the annals of the Royal Society in 1817;

It will without doubt have come to your Lordship’s knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years, greatly abated….”

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/20/historic-variation-in-arctic-ice/#more-8688

This quote –from a book of the period-comes from the same source;

The uncharted coastline of east Greenland became clear of ice around 1820, and in 1822 Scoresby, in the midst of an arduous whaling voyage, sailed along some 400 miles of this inhospitable landscape, charting it, and naming point as he went in honour of scientific and other friends, chief of which was Scoresby Sound, named for his father. Almost all his place names survive today.”

This melting was described by the author in the article referenced above, which examined the little known period 1815-60 when the Arctic ice melted and the Royal Society mounted an expedition to investigate the causes. This period of melt during the 1820’s is also mentioned here;

From an examination of the Greenland captains, it has been found that owing to some convulsions of nature , the sea was more open and more free from compact ice than in any former voyage they ever made: that several ships actually reached the eighty-fourth degree of latitude, in which no ice whatever was found; that for the first time for 400 years, vessels penetrated to the west coast of Greenland, and that they apprehended no obstacle to their even reaching the pole, if it had consisted with their duty to their employers to make the attempt.”

http://tinyurl.com/6c525cl

This intriguing reference to ‘400 years’ illustrates that Arctic travel was also possible in the 1400’s and possibly relates to the last known settlements of the Vikings, who had experienced hundreds of years of relative warmth in Greenland before ice closed the sea lanes as the temperatures turned down around the 1300’s during the first Little Ice age, from which temperatures subsequently recovered to a peak by around 1560.

(Arctic melting appears to have been happening with some regularity, from the Ipiatuk civilization some 3000 years ago, the Vikings a thousand years ago, at various times during the LIA- most notably the early 1700’s and 1817 onwards- and prior to the current warming there was another episode recorded between 1918 to 1940.)

The steady rise in temperatures during the 19th century was documented here, when the author asked tongue in cheek if Charles Dickens had shaped our perception of climate change through his portrayal of Victorian winters in his book ‘A Christmas Carol.’

http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/01/06/bah-humbug/

Dickens life demonstrates the extraordinary variability of the British winters during that era, when the coldest and warmest winters in the CET records can be juxtaposed. Generally there are few examples of constant cold winters year after year-the LIA was becoming much more sporadic than it had been several centuries earlier, when bitter cold weather appears to have been the norm. To put this era into perspective mature English people might be surprised to learn they lived through a much colder winter than Dickens ever experienced. 1962/3 at -0.33C was the third coldest in the entire CET record compared to Dickens coldest year 1814 at 0.43c, the fourth coldest in the record. (1962/3 was a bit of a one off-Dickens experienced a greater number of relatively cold winters)”

Hubert Lamb, in ‘Climate, History and the Modern World’, says: “Indeed, the descriptions of ‘old-fashioned’ winters for which Charles Dickens became famous in his books may owe something to the fact – exceptional for London – that of the first nine Christmases of his life, between 1812 and 1820, six were white with either frost or snow.”

Lamb also points out that the decade from 1810 to 1819 was the coldest in England since the 1690s. However, Dickens published ‘A Christmas Carol’ in December 1843 during what remains to this day as one of the warmest Decembers in British history. The two warmest winters on record occurred in 1868 and 1833.

These accounts from Russia contradict the popular notion of a shiveringly cold country and have obvious parallels with the fires of 2010.

1831: Summer was unbearably hot, and as a consequence of numerous fires in the forests, there was a constant haze of smoke in the air, through which the sun appeared a red hot ball; the smell of burning was so strong, that it was difficult to breathe.

The years of 1839-1841 were known as the “hungry years.” In the spring of 1840, the spring sowings of corn disappeared in many places. From midway through April until the end of August not a drop of rain fell. From the beginning of summer the fields were covered with a dirty grey film of dust. All the plants wilted, dying from the heat and lack of water. It was extraordinarily hot and close, even though the sun, being covered in haze, shone very weakly through the haze of smoke.

1868: the weather was murderous. It rained once during the summer. There was a drought. The sun, like a red hot cinder, glowed through the clouds of smoke from the peat bogs. Near Peterhoff the forests and peat workings burnt, and troops dug trenches and flooded the subterranean fire. It was 40 centigrade in the open, and 28 in the shade.”

http://therese-phil.livejournal.com/171196.html

The steady rise in temperature during this period was also commented on by the author in this article, which links three long temperature records along the Hudson River in the USA. They illustrate that with a start date of 1880 GISS misses out on the preceding warm climatic cycles and that UHI appears to be a big factor in the increasingly urbanised temperature data sets from both GISS and Hadley/CRU.

http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/11/25/triplets-on-the-hudson-river/#comment-13064

That the temperature dropped from the start of James Hansen’s’ famous GISS record in 1880

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Table 7 http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/

places it somewhat out of context to the warmer period that preceded it, and this is reflected in this intriguing reference from the records of the Canadian Horticulturist monthly of 1880 (page 7).

“I do not know whether or not the climate of Ontario is really becoming permanently milder than formerly, but I do know that for the past 18 years or 20 years we have not experienced the same degree of cold as the seven years preceding.”

http://www.archive.org/stream/canadianhorticu03stcauoft#page/6/mode/2up

This period of transition and fluctuation between virtually modern day warmth and intermittently severe ‘Little Ice Age’ conditions- roughly 1700-1850- resulted in great storms;

http://www.blackwellpublishing.com:443/content/BPL_Images/Content_store/Sample_chapter/9780631222736/higgit.pdf

(Page 8)

Hubert Lamb also wrote of the great storms during this period in his book ‘’Historic storms of the North sea, British isles and Northwest Europe’ showing that such events are not restricted to current times.

Coming closer towards the modern era this paper ‘British Winters in relation to World Weather’ published in 1926 provides a scholarly examination of the relationships discovered, which gives us an insight into what was happening elsewhere in the world as regards a changing climate. This portion from the summary is intriguing;

The results indicate that conditions in the Southern Hemisphere play a part comparable with that of the North Atlantic oscillation in controlling subsequent winter weather in the British Isles.”

http://www.rmets.org/pdf/blissmem1-6.pdf

That CET has intriguing parallels with Northern Hemispheric and the Global climate was also noted by Hubert Lamb and other researchers, and places CET as a potentially interesting, scientifically valid, proxy for the global situation.

The warm period during the 1920’s and 30’s resulted in the Arctic melting (again) recorded in this excellent free online book by Dr Arnd Bernaerts

http://www.arctic-heats-up.com/chapter_1.html

A farmer from Buchan in North East Scotland, one of the snowiest parts of lowland Britain, wrote in the agricultural section of the local newspaper during the exceptionally mild winter of 1933/34.

1934 has opened true to the modern tradition of open, snowless winters. The long ago winters are no precedent for our modern samples. During the last decade, during several Januarys the lark has heralded spring up in the lift from the middle to the end of the month. Not full fledged songs but preliminary bars in an effort to adapt to our climatic change.”

It then goes on to say;
“It is unwise to assume that the modern winters have displaced the old indefinitely”
and also; “Our modern winters have induced an altered agricultural regime”

John Steinbeck’s’ classic novel ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ spoke eloquently of the hardship caused by severe drought and heat waves in part of 1930’s Dustbowl America-a period that remains arguably the warmest in recorded history in that country.

http://www.city-data.com/forum/oklahoma/155903-grapes-wrath-classic-okie-book.html

We have numerous other pieces of evidence to demonstrate cyclical climate change throughout the instrumental record, when periods of cold were replaced by welcome warmth that helped to kick start the age of industrialisation and exploration which has shaped the modern world.

The Met office claim that there was little variability prior to the modern era appears to have little merit, and is all the more surprising as their Exeter UK base is but ten miles from upland Dartmoor, where numerous examples of climate change from both the Bronze age and MWP can be readily found.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dartmoor

The majority of the prehistoric remains on Dartmoor date back to the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age. Indeed Dartmoor contains the largest concentration of Bronze Age remains in the United Kingdom which suggests that this was when a larger population moved onto the hills of Dartmoor…..The climate at the time was warmer than today, and much of today’s moor land was covered with trees. The prehistoric settlers began clearing the forest, and established the first farming communities.”

The climate worsened over the course of a thousand years from around 1000BC, so that much of high Dartmoor was largely abandoned by its early inhabitants. It was not until the early mediaeval period that the weather again became warmer, and settlers moved back onto the moors.”

Clearly, there was great fluctuation between warm and cold periods throughout the historical record. As for the IPCC, from their Geneva HQ they have ready access to the world’s extensive literature on climatology and also must be aware that the city they are based in can boast of instrumental records back to 1753. These illustrate not only natural variability and the centuries long warming trend, but the effects of UHI as the city’s population has escalated from around 9000 back then, to some 190,000 today-with the Geneva canton being about double that of the city.

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Table 8 http://climatereason.com/LittleIceAgeThermometers/Europe.html

Above; Geneva from 1753 with a centuries long rise in temperatures. (This record was also shown with a trend line earlier in the article). If the records only went back a few more decades the Geneva graph would also include the notable warmth during the first few decades of the 18th Century, already remarked on here, further demonstrating natural variability.

Conclusion.

The globe appears to have been gently warming for 400 years- with numerous reversals and cold periods interspersed with warm ones. Within this overall trend can be discerned regions running counter cyclical to the warming trend, as was observed in the article ‘In search of cooling trends’.

http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/in-search-of-cooling-trends/

We estimated around one third of all stations to be cooling, a figure now endorsed by the Berkeley study. The assertion regarding lack of climate variability cited at the top of this article by two of the most prestigious climate organizations cannot be supported-there were periods around as warm as today as well as very cold periods, demonstrating great variability, no doubt there were also areas running counter cyclical to the prevailing trend, as can be seen today.

Note 1 * The quote from St Cyrian in 250AD provided earlier would be considered ‘anecdotal,’ a particularly derisory term in the Climate Science Dictionary, who prefer computer models or intriguing proxies. However, in this instance the journal ‘Science’ comes to our aid. On their website they quote Ulf Buntgen of the Swiss Federal Research Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape, who produced a study looking back on 2500 years of climate change. He wrote ‘increased climate variability from AD250 to 600 coincided with the demise of the western Roman Empire and the turmoil of the migration period. Distinct drying in the third century paralleled a period of serious crisis in the western Roman Empire marked by barbarian invasion, political turmoil and economic dislocation in several provinces of Gaul.”

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164 thoughts on “A short anthology of changing climate

  1. “alarming uptick in temperatures that has been blamed on modern man and his profligate burning of CO2″

    CO2 does not burn. CO2 is the product of combustion.

  2. Do you have the temperature record of the vicinity of YAD06? By vicinity I mean just a few meters all around that tree. /sarc

  3. Yeah, but what about that guy….that said that thing?

    Seriously though, very nice compilation sir. I will be sure to use this as a reference in the future.
    Well Done.

  4. Now I expect every person who talks about Nyquist, every person who talks about needing more thermometers will chime in about the limitations of looking at only a few places.

    I expect people who crow about GISS extrapolating 1200KM to chime in.

    taps foot.

    REPLY: We need more GOOD thermometers, not compromised ones. CRN is a great start, GHCN is still a train wreck although NCDC’s Thomas Peterson has convinced himself otherwise. – Anthony

  5. …from AD250 to 600 coincided with the demise of the western Roman Empire… …political turmoil and economic dislocation in several provinces of Gaul.

    History repeating itself.

  6. Mosh said

    “Now I expect every person who talks about Nyquist, every person who talks about needing more thermometers will chime in about the limitations of looking at only a few places.”

    Like mbh99?

    Cet is actually a very good approximation of the NH climate at least, and can be reinforced by other records from further afield. I’m looking forward to your comments when I publish my paper pushing CET back to 1550. Like to peer review it?
    tonyb

  7. This intriguing reference to ’400 years’ illustrates that Arctic travel was also possible in the 1400′s

    Careful about jumping to conclusions. That could also mean that their knowledge goes back only 400 years and they had no information from previous periods.

  8. I wouldn’t show table 5 as evidence of a continuous, gentle warming trend. If the gentle trend was all there was, we would expect data to be randomly distributed either side of the line. Most recent years are above the line, which would be interpretable as an accelerated trend.

    Also, if you put a trend line through the hockey stick itself, you’ll get… a gentle increasing trend. It wouldn’t be a good fit, but the slope would be there.

    I don’t trust the proxies – but I trust eyewitness accounts less.

  9. Lawdy, Lawdy! Climate changes. Will the AGW crowd quit denying it….! It’s so funny that they call me a “climate change denier” when they can’t even accept it themselves. I don’t deny a thing! I don’t! I really don’t! What a circus. This whack job is going back to his Frac job.

  10. A nice summary of much that was once well known but which has been ignored for the past 25 years or so.

    The obvious implication is that natural variability can adequately explain ALL climate variations observed to date.

    That is the really inconvenient truth.

  11. Tony … you might be interested in this reference:

    Macpherson, A.G. (1981) Early Perceptions of the Newfoundland Environment. In The Natural Environment of Newfoundland Past and Present. Eds Macpherson A.G. and Machperson J.B.. Memorial University of Newfoundland. 1-23.

  12. Tony Brown,

    Your interweaving of instrumental temperature records and the richly interesting historical record should be welcome to all who are open to the broader understanding of past climate behavior. It supports an understanding beyond the restricted so-called settled/consensus view given by the myopic focus of supporters of the science of AGW by CO2 from fossil fuels.

    It was easy to read. That is a significant achievement given the obscure jargon that can often surround the discussing of climate topics.

    Thank you.

    John

  13. Stephen Wilde says:
    November 1, 2011 at 10:54 am
    The obvious implication is that natural variability can adequately explain ALL climate variations observed to date.
    And as there has been no corresponding rise in solar activity the past 300 years, we can rule that particular variability out as well.

  14. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Finally a rigorous article that deals SOLELY with GOOD measurements, instead of trying to play statistical games with lots of mismatched dubious measurements and abstract proxies.

    Using valid data is the ONLY way to do science.

  15. Tony Brown
    Excellent post! Well documented argument against the overused “unprecedented” meme.
    Consider revising “burning of CO2″ in the opening to something feasible like burning fossil fuels that release CO2.

  16. Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 1, 2011 at 11:17 am

    And as there has been no corresponding rise in solar activity the past 300 years, we can rule that particular variability out as well.

    That may be debatably valid, however, we have had a decrease in solar activity lately. Can you share your personal opinion, as to it’s effect on climate… Now and the near future. I ask, because I respect your opinion on most matters, although I don’t necessarily agree, with them all. GK

  17. What happens if one detrends the ‘modern’ record from 1800 to 2000? By eye I reckon that, assuming the gradual warming is natural and linear, the anthropogenic signal is about half a degree per century.

    I’d rather like to see that as a graph.

    JF

  18. G. Karst says:
    November 1, 2011 at 11:54 am
    That may be debatably valid, however, we have had a decrease in solar activity lately. Can you share your personal opinion, as to it’s effect on climate
    Solar activity is now and has been for the past cycle similar to what it was a century ago, but climate is quite different, so the effect does not seem to be a major factor.

  19. Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm
    “Solar activity is now and has been for the past cycle similar to what it was a century ago, but climate is quite different, so the effect does not seem to be a major factor.”

    Lag times. Oceans.

  20. Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 1, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Stephen Wilde says:
    November 1, 2011 at 10:54 am
    The obvious implication is that natural variability can adequately explain ALL climate variations observed to date.
    And as there has been no corresponding rise in solar activity the past 300 years, we can rule that particular variability out as well.

    Your statement would seem to fall more in the realm of opinion rather than science, and a highly biased one at that. Sorry, if that hurts your feelings.

  21. And if you look at them honesty, all you need to prove AGW to yourself is there in those charts.

    The ones that show appropriate coverage, timescale and axes clearly show anomalous recent warming. The ones that show inappropriate coverage ( too local), timescale (too long so the recent period is obscured or too short so you can’t see the trend) or y-axis (too flattened) don’t show it.

    Take a closer look at Table 5. The main part seems to say “nothing to see here”, but look at the little figures on the right. You can clearly see the uptick in the latter 20th C. It was there all along, but appropriate axes make it clear.

    If you cannot see it from those charts, then I suggest you are asking not “what does this tell me?”, but rather “how can I look at this and see what I want to see?”

  22. >>Climatereason
    >>Cet is actually a very good approximation of the NH climate at least,
    >>and can be reinforced by other records from further afield.

    As long as you bear in mind that one of the CET thermometers is in the middle of Blackpool airport (which does have summer jets), while another of their thermometers is in the middle of Manchester International Airport (next to the jet engine test stands, apparently).

    .

  23. Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    “….but climate is quite different, ”
    how different? 0.5deg Kelvin out 273K ??? That is remarkably constant, just like the TSI.

  24. DirkH says:
    November 1, 2011 at 12:08 pm
    Lag times. Oceans.
    With suitable variable lag times you can fit and explain everything, but in this case it won’t work because the activity in the 19th century was not much different from that of the 20th [or the 18th for that matter].

    Bruce Cobb says:
    November 1, 2011 at 12:14 pm
    Your statement would seem to fall more in the realm of opinion rather than science, and a highly biased one at that. Sorry, if that hurts your feelings.
    That is an emerging consensus amount solar physicists so in a sense it is the collective opinion of solar researchers. The one who seems to have hurt feelings looks to be you. You can follow some of the discussion here http://www.leif.org/research/How%20Well%20Do%20We%20Know%20the%20Sunspot%20Number.pdf and here http://ssnworkshop.wikia.com/wiki/Home
    The presentations from the workshop can be found here http://ssnworkshop.wikia.com/wiki/Presentations_1

  25. JohnB

    There are far more interesting upticks than the one you identify (and do beware of confusing AGW with UHI in historic records)

    1700 – 1740, there was an approx mean rise of 2 deg C rise over the 40 years.
    This went up at an even steeper rate of rise between 1815-35, some 1.5 deg C over 20 years.

    It is also instructive to look at recent ‘trends’ in individual locations such as CET

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/

    I have no idea if we have seen the end of the warming period but certainly something has been happening the last 5/10 years although I would not claim that is long enough to be any sort of a statistically significant trend
    tonyb

  26. This post by Tony Brown is an interesting read and pretty much spot on. One of the biggest problems I have with the AGW crowd is that, as a rule, none of them have any idea of what went on in the past. It’s like they have never studied history, read any historically accurate novels, or for that matter, researched anything in the past at all. To their minds, nothing significant occurred with regards to the weather or climate until the latter half of the twentieth century!

  27. Your table 4 shows the direction they SHOULD be going -“data from tree rings, corals, ice cores…”, all of which stopped being gathered about the year 2000 or so.

    If they would spend the money to update the proxies, they could see if the CURRENT proxies follow the temperature rise.

    If updtated proxies don’t follow curent rise, then how can they be sure the PAST proxies show temperatures?

    They use the arguement “well it costs money to do this”.

    It’s not like they have to dig down a couple of miles or so. A couple of feet should cover the last 100 years.

  28. Mick says:
    November 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm
    how different? 0.5deg Kelvin out 273K ??? That is remarkably constant, just like the TSI.
    If you claim the climate is constant then the influence of a variable sun is clearly irrelevant.

  29. Ralph

    This is Manleys original 1953 paper dealing with CET

    http://www.rmets.org/pdf/QJ53manley.pdf

    This is the amount that the Met office told me was used to calculate uhi (in my opinion not enough, but that is true of many urban data sets)

    “The urbanisation corrections to the CET series have been applied since 1974. Initially they were just 0.1 degree C, in certain months, then gradually for more months of the year; from about 1995 onwards some of the corrections increased to 0.2 deg C, and by about 2002 all the corrections were 0.2 deg C.

    The above applies to Mean CET. The urban heat island effect is much more noticeable for minimum temperatures than for maximum, so for the Minimum CET series the corrections are double those for Mean Temperature, whereas for Maximum Temperature it was deemed in fact that no correction was required.”

    tonyb

  30. @JohnB
    sorry, but I don’t agree with your apparent view. The CET (table 3) shows quite clearly at least 3, possibly 4, different periods of a rising trend some decades apart in a clear clyclical fashion – now – if you were to normalise the ‘underlying’ naturally warming trend, say by tilting the graph down to the right – what do you see? The end uptick you see – is ‘gone’!! I find it amazing you can then come out and say the end uptick is suddenly ‘anomalous’!!
    Moreover, note how the graph isn’t actually up to ‘present’.

  31. The climate has been wonderful for nearly 500 years – relatively warm, decent moisture, favorable for human expansion. All good things must come to an end.

  32. @Kev: CET is only England – too local.
    @Tony: ditto.

    Look at Berlin 1740-1760 in table 5. Impressive warming! But in Central England, just a few hundred miles away… cooling! You are concentrating on local effects beause they appear to tell you what you want to hear.

    Come on guys…

  33. Indeed, “context is everything”. In this case the context is time, and the author very capably extends the time series back to 1659, the beginning of the “instrumental period”.

    We cannot ignore, however, compelling proxies that extend temperature history back 10,000 years, or 100,000, or 5 million, or more. Granted the evidence is scant and imperfect back that far, but what evidence there is suggests that the Earth is ensnared in her coldest period in the last 200 million years!

    That’s significant. The trend is downward, a cooling Earth, over the last 60 million years. We are living in a brief interglacial between long glaciations, but our current warmth is minimal compared to the long history of this planet. Life developed and evolved at much warmer temperatures than today. The Holocene itself has been cooling for 10,000 years, as the excellent Wikipedia article on “neoglaciation” relates. If the past is any guide, the next glaciation is pending.

    It will be a bummer. Ice Age conditions are not conducive to life. Warmer is better. The planet could warm up 20°C and life would abound, but it’s not going to. The warming trend since 1659 is 0.9°C. That’s almost nothing. If it warms up another 2°C as some predict, it will be wonderful. But if the globe continues to cool, as indicated by the record over geologic time scales, it will not be wonderful.

    Have anthropogenic carbon emissions lengthened our current interglacial? I hope so. Global warming is a Good Thing. I’m in favor of it. I vote for warmer. Gun your engines, please.

  34. Just as the LIA had some very warm years, so the MWP had some very cold and very wet years when harvests completely failed and the population of England was decimated.

  35. SteveSadlov says:
    November 1, 2011 at 12:47 pm
    The climate has been wonderful for nearly 500 years – relatively warm, decent moisture, favorable for human expansion. All good things must come to an end.
    Quite wrong, for most of the last 500 years the climate has been miserable. Luckily it has now warmed up a bit.

  36. @JohnB
    Of course, absolutely it IS local – no argument there. You still seem to be missing the point that it is an indicator of the underlying NATURAL warming trend. THAT is the crux of the matter even in the Berlin graph you cite – what is the trend???
    I am more than happy to accept that recent warming ‘appears’ greater – but that is actually NOT excessive when compared to past trending and cycles.
    Come on John! (LOL)

  37. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    November 1, 2011 at 10:52 am

    A bon tour de climate force.
    Un bon tour de force du climat.

    John B

    Go look again. Tony shows two markedly “anomously” increasing trends. If you look deeper you will find at least one more. I’ll give you a clue 1810. plonker

    TonyB I’ve spent 50 yrs years reading and studying climate and had all of Hubert’s books. Your piece here reminds me very much of the old master. God knows what he would be thinking now but wouldn’t be great if there were two people in the world now like Feyman and Lamb.

  38. Good stuff. CET record alone destroys the Hockey stick BS. When compared to BEST, it is clearly a good proxy for global temperatures 300 years back.

  39. @JohnB
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – in a warming climate (ice age recovery) you cannot easily say any given year or period of warming is anomalous – and certainly not from current data. EVERY year of temperature records today WILL be higher than a comparable climate cycle year from centuries or decades past – because of the underlying trend. When detrended, there will be much less of an anomalous appearance.
    The bugbear in the AGW theory is that when we look at longer trends – there is absolutely butt all correlation with CO2. The concentration of the team on recent decades is deliberately to hide the underlying natural trend IMO.

  40. Hi Tony
    Great post and a reference article. Every climate scientist should start his/her training with the CET.
    Here is something to ponder:
    June:
    maximum insolation, high radiative heat transfer and CO2 back radiation
    temperature response: flat

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CETjun.htm

    January:
    minimum insolation, the lowest radiative heat transfer and CO2 back radiation
    temperature response: maximum rise of ~ 0.5 C/ century

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CETjanuary.htm

    I have strong reasons to think that the climate change in the CET area has lot to do with the ocean currents moving heat from the tropics polewards and vice versa.

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 1, 2011 at 12:33 pm
    ……………….
    There was once a scientist who wanted to rewrite the sun’s past (every cycle amplitude SSNmax =120), in the way some climatologists persist rewriting the temperatures.
    But the sun does what it has done for billion of years:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC7a.htm

  41. You don’t need pages of graphs to see the face of true climate change vs climate variability. It is all around us:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erratic_Rock_State_Natural_Site

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missoula_Floods

    http://www.columbiagorgebedandbreakfast.com/ice_age_floods.htm

    Google images: Missoula floods for specatcualr scenary of the affects of climate change.

    Check the weather pages around the world to learn more about what range of weather the current climate allows.

  42. M.A.Vukcevic says:
    November 1, 2011 at 1:10 pm
    There was once a scientist who wanted to rewrite the sun’s past (every cycle amplitude SSNmax =120), in the way some climatologists persist rewriting the temperatures.
    But the sun does what it has done for billion of years

    Since your do not know what you are talking about, it might be better not to embarrass yourself any more.

  43. Stephen Richards

    Thanks for your comments. Hubert Lamb is one of my favourites and I have several books of his. As most of his work was pre (powerful) computer I suppose he researched things in a different manner to many of todays climate scientists. He was a very thorough person and would have marvelled at the idea of having c0llective climate knowledge so readily available via the internet.
    We miss his calm voice on climatic matters
    tonyb

  44. Tony:

    Correlation with CO2:

    Oh yes there is!

    (This chart was linked on wuwt just a couple of days ago)

  45. @Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm
    “Solar activity is now and has been for the past cycle similar to what it was a century ago, but climate is quite different, so the effect does not seem to be a major factor.”

    100yrs before SC23 is SC14, at half the size of SC23:

    http://www.solen.info/solar/cycl14.html

    it followed two cycles that were both much smaller than SC`s 21 and 22:

    http://www.solen.info/solar/cycl13.html

    http://www.solen.info/solar/cycl12.html

  46. Ulric Lyons says:
    November 1, 2011 at 1:43 pm
    100yrs before SC23 is SC14, at half the size of SC23:
    When I say 108 years ago, people get upset, but that is what was meant. SC23 should be compared to SC13, and SC24 with SC14.

    it followed two cycles that were both much smaller than SC`s 21 and 22
    All cycles after SC17 are wrongly calibrated and are 20% too high. You can see the correct calibration in slide 33 of http://www.leif.org/research/Effect-of-Weighting-on-SSN.pdf

  47. Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 1, 2011 at 1:13 pm
    Since your do not know what you are talking about, it might be better not to embarrass yourself any more.

    Year or two ago many readers appreciated your knowledge and experience in dealing with some complex issues, then you started this ridiculous idea of ‘flat sun’, which no one as far as I can find out is taking seriously.
    Tony wrote an excellent article (the subject he knows far better than most of the so called experts) so it appears nobody here is interested in your solar revisionism.
    I would call that embarrassing.

  48. Mike D says
    It will be a bummer. Ice Age conditions are not conducive to life. Warmer is better. The planet could warm up 20°C and life would abound, but it’s not going to.
    ———-
    Hopefully indeed it’s not going to. This would mean that room temperature currently at 20C would become 40C. And a heat wave instead of 40C would be 60C. We would all be dead. Literally!!!!!

  49. First I want to point out that ground-based measurements of temperature in the satellite era (i.e. since 1979) do not agree with ground based values you show (1). These thermometers (?) feature a steady warming that does not exist in satellite records. What warming satellites do see is a short spurt of that started in 1998, raised global temperature in four years by a third of a degree, and then stopped. There was no warming before or after it, and in particular there was none in the eighties and nineties which Hansen used in front of the Senate to claim that warming had started. This short warming in satellite records makes a well-documented case for a step warming, something nobody has bothered to study. Its cause is the huge amount of warm water that the super El Nino of 1998 brought across the ocean. This is another aspect of global temperature that these so-called “scientists“ don’t know about. Which brings up the influence of the ocean and in particular ocean currents in determining our climate. Arctic warming is well known and its symptoms – reduced summer ice cover, melting permafrost, polar bears in trouble, etc. – are currently used as evidence for existence of the greenhouse effect. Unfortunately the cause of Arctic warming is water carried to the Arctic Ocean by Atlantic currents and not any carbon dioxide in the air. It started with a rearrangement of the North Atlantic current system at the turn of the twentieth century which directed warm currents like the Gulf Stream into the Arctic Ocean. Warming paused from 1940 to 1970, then resumed, and is still going strong. It started very suddenly and since there was no concurrent increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide the greenhouse effect is completely ruled out as its cause. Nils-Axel Mörner (2) has carried the role of Gulf Stream as a cause of global warming/cooling even further by postulating a connection between its behavior and solar cycle strength. His idea is that if solar activity as measured by the intensity of sunspot cycles is weak the ionization of higher atmosphere is reduced. Reducing it removes part of the protection we have against the direct effects of the solar wind. And the solar wind will then start to interact with lower parts of the atmosphere and thereby change the angular momentum of the earth. His contention is that this change in angular momentum is large enough to divert the Gulf Stream, which normally is aimed at the North Sea, so that it terminates further south at the Bay of Biscay. The result is that the North Atlantic, the Arctic, and Northern Europe will experience a cold wave. He suspects that this is what happened several times during the Little Ice Age and may happen to us again by 2050. It is food for thought since the Little Ice Age was not simply a unitary cooling but seems to have fluctuated according to your data. It would also be interesting to check out the theory that LIA was not world wide as some have suggested. We don’t really know why there was an abrupt change in currents at the turn of the twentieth century nor do we have any idea how or why the former current system temporarily returned in 1940. But we do need to know more about these and other ocean currents if we want to understand what controls global temperature.

    References
    (1) Arrak, “What Warming?“ available on Amazon
    (2) Nils-Axel Mörner, E&E April 2011

  50. Any temperature reconstruction that shows the 1930s and 1940s as being significantly colder than the last two decades automatically cannot be trusted to be unbiased. End of the story, and it really is that plain simple.

  51. Leif Svalgaard says: “Quite wrong, for most of the last 500 years the climate has been miserable. Luckily it has now warmed up a bit.”

    That almost sounds like the voice of experience, Leif. Are you related to Mel Brooks’ 2000 year old man? I’ll tell you, some days, I feel that way. Oy!

  52. M.A.Vukcevic says:
    November 1, 2011 at 1:53 pm
    Year or two ago many readers appreciated your knowledge and experience in dealing with some complex issues, then you started this ridiculous idea of ‘flat sun’, which no one as far as I can find out is taking seriously.
    “[1] Variations in the total solar irradiance (TSI) associated with solar activity have been argued to influence the Earth’s climate system, in particular when solar activity deviates from the average for a substantial period. One such example is the 17th Century Maunder Minimum during which sunspot numbers were extremely low, as Earth experienced the Little Ice Age. Estimation of the TSI during that period has relied on extrapolations of correlations with sunspot numbers or even more indirectly with modulations of galactic cosmic rays. We argue that there is a minimum state of solar magnetic activity associated with a population of relatively small magnetic bipoles which persists even when sunspots are absent, and that consequently estimates of TSI for the Little Ice Age that are based on scalings with sunspot numbers are generally too low. The minimal solar activity, which measurements show to be frequently observable between active‐region decay products regardless of the phase of the sunspot cycle, was approached globally after an unusually long lull in sunspot activity in 2008–2009. Therefore, the best estimate of magnetic activity, and presumably TSI, for the least‐active Maunder Minimum phases appears to be
    provided by direct measurement in 2008–2009. The implied marginally significant decrease in TSI during the least active phases of the Maunder Minimum by 140 to 360 ppm relative to 1996 suggests that drivers other than TSI dominate Earth’s long‐term climate change.”

    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2011GL046658.pdf

    Slide 33 of http://www.leif.org/research/Effect-of-Weighting-on-SSN.pdf shows that your assertion that Rmax is always 120 is rooted in ignorance.

  53. Arno Arrak says:
    November 1, 2011 at 2:01 pm
    …………….
    I agree with the general sentiment of your post. You are correct about onset of the sudden warming periods, and there is occasionally reversed process of sudden cooling.
    I have an idea why that may be so since the changes expressed in the data I plotted have a simple physical explanation:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CDr.htm

    No ‘flat sun’ here.

  54. The problem with IPCC stuff is you can find absolute contradictions to the Policy Maker Summaries in the body of the actual reports but it is damned difficult.

    How can the IPCC AR4 report be considered authoratative when there are many examples of contradiction ?

    The sections presented in the summary and the FAQs are carefully constructed to convey a message yet one does not find much support for that message in the text.

    An obvious example is the use of Kiehl & Trenberth’s graphic showing 342 W/sq m as the solar insolation – a carefully crafted distorted message in my view – yet in the body of the report there is a section on Solar Variability and the Total Solar Irradiance –

    “Between 1902 and 1957, Charles Abbot and a number of other scientists around the globe made thousands of measurements of TSI from mountain sites. Values ranged from 1,322 to 1,465 W m–2, which encompasses the current estimate of 1,365 W m–2.”

    The simple question is How did they measure this ? If Kiehl & Trenberth’s graphic showing 342 W/sq m as the solar insolation is in any way accurate how did terrestrial bound scientists measure a now accepted value ?.

    Perhaps they actually did measure 342 W/sq m and multiplied it by four to account for the disk versus sphere geometry – Yeah right !

    Clearly the IPCC are being deceptive in placing Kiehl & Trenberth’s graphic “front and centre” to generate a false impression that the poor old sun can only manage ~ -18 C without the help of the magic roundabout on the right hand side of the graphic.

    Of course this is deceit and so easily debunked when you consider the moon can be heated to ~120 C during the day but poor old Earth would freeze with the wonderful magic greenhouse effect.

    If they try to deceive as blatently as this why should anyone trust them ?

  55. M.A.Vukcevic says:
    November 1, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    John B says:
    November 1, 2011 at 1:18 pm
    …….
    This correlation is even higher at R^2 = 0.9

    for the rest see:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC.htm

    —————-

    Interesting!

    Two questions:

    Why pick the field at the point you did?

    How does GMFz correlate to global as opposed to Arctic temperature?

  56. @Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 1, 2011 at 1:52 pm
    “When I say 108 years ago, people get upset, but that is what was meant.”

    Well you should have said 108yrs rather than “a century” then. SC13 is still following a cooler period than SC23 did, so the comparison is not that useful.

  57. RE: John B: (November 1, 2011 at 1:18 pm)

    “Correlation with CO2:”

    Based on the minimal change in forcing between 300 PPM and 600 PPM CO2 concentration, I would say this is more likely a simple coincidence. To establish a true correlation, I think one needs to show that this relationship holds over several full cycles of rising and falling temperatures.

    ***************************

    For General Reference: Here is a similar subject WUWT article about a 2000-year, non-tree-ring proxy reconstruction of first and second millennium temperatures:

    Loehle: Vindication
    Posted on September 28, 2010 by Anthony Watts
    Guest Post by Craig Loehle (cloehle -at- ncasi.org)

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/28/loehle-vindication/

  58. Charles Minard’s 1869 chart showing the losses in men, their movements, and the temperature of Napoleon’s 1812 Russian campaign.

    Another valuable climate document showing the temperatures experienced by L’Armee Francaise upon its retreat from Moscow Late October-November 1812. These historical records seem to me to be at least as valuable as other proxy information in determining temperature in days gone by

  59. lol, well, I had my head down, working for most of the day, and from time to time today sporadically writing a post. Had I seen this one, I may not have bothered. But, here, is the last two 33 year periods of time with temp trends. I back-casted a few years of CO2 levels, and put it on a graph for comparison to the temp trends. I don’t know what’s driving our climate, but I know what isn’t.

    http://suyts.wordpress.com/2011/11/01/historical-correlations-between-temps-and-co2/

  60. Good post Tony, we have to rely on historical actual data (or we are stuck with the climate models – and some people are stuck thinking there is real data produced by climate models)

    —————–
    For the CO2 correlators, the formula that global warming theory is based on is;

    TempC Anom = 3/LN(2)*LN(CO2/280) – 0.5C

    See how that works for you.

    —————

    John B says:
    November 1, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Whatever chart you posted, the regression formula listed on the chart is not what the line in the chart is based on, so, yeah start over … There is a lot of really bad math in climate science, especially on one side of it.

  61. Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 1, 2011 at 12:37 pm
    Mick says:
    November 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm
    how different? 0.5deg Kelvin out 273K ??? That is remarkably constant, just like the TSI.
    If you claim the climate is constant then the influence of a variable sun is clearly irrelevant.

    But we _are_ observing changes in the Sun. Livingston and Penn are currently plotting the apparent reduction in sunspot magnetism which you are commenting on in another blog. Just because we have not made a complete link to such changes from climate does not mean that if it isn’t a TSI change it has no effect on climate. The CERN CLOUD experiment would appear to provide a potential mechanism, there may be others. For example Nir Shaviv in his paper “Using the oceans as a calorimeter to quantify the solar radiative forcing”, shows that the effect of solar changes appears to be amplified in ocean temperature changes (measured in multiple ways). We shouldn’t fall into the IPCC trap of ‘we cannot think of anything else so it must be X’.

  62. Tony, very nice article – thank you!

    re: Stephen Wilde says: November 1, 2011 at 10:54 am

    A nice summary of much that was once well known but which has been ignored for the past 25 years or so. The obvious implication is that natural variability can adequately explain ALL climate variations observed to date. That is the really inconvenient truth.

    Even more unquestionably so when one looks at proxies of the Younger Dryas. Talk about massive and rapid climate change!! Ok, I grant you, we could argue the accurracy of those proxies, but just sayin’ it seems awfully clear from the best records we currently have both instrumental and proxy, that we’re nowhere near out of the ‘null hypothesis’ bounds of natural variability for the holocene, let alone going further back.

  63. @Bill,

    You are right, the line is something close to 0.009x-2.97 (not 0.01x – 2.89). Not sure why. Better ask Stevo, who posted it in the first place.

    But that doesn’t change the fact that there is a clear correlation. Your formula is the famous “3 C per doubling”. That would fit pretty well too, but by my calculations, 2.1 C per doubling gives a better fit to that data.

  64. LazyTeenager says: … This would mean that room temperature currently at 20C would become 40C. … We would all be dead. Literally!!!!!

    Ha ha, Lazy. The Earth is not at room temperature. The average temperature of Earth is 15°C. During the Eocene it was 20°C warmer, and Life thrived. It was the most species diverse epoch ever. The poles were green. It’s been downhill for Life ever since. Tell you what. I’ll settle for Miocene climate, when the Earth was 5 to 10°C warmer. That would be positively Edenic.

    Dittos to Dr. Svalgaard, who says: … for most of the last 500 years the climate has been miserable. Luckily it has now warmed up a bit.

    Luck or not, warmer is the direction we want to go.

  65. Ian W says:
    November 1, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    We shouldn’t fall into the IPCC trap of ‘we cannot think of anything else so it must be X’.

    ————-

    Actually, the IPCC say something more like, “we have tried everything else, inluding the factors that skeptics like to cite (Sun, volcanoes, ENSO, etc.), but those factors can’t explain late 20th C warming whereas X can”.

  66. Although I respect Leif and have been educated by him with regard to a number of issues in the past I do find it increasingly difficult to accept his attempts to reduce solar effects on the atmosphere to almost zero.

    The empirical evidence to the contrary is increasing by the day.

  67. re: climatereason says: November 1, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Tony, thank you for the UHI CET correction information – I was just wondering about that and was a little irked that the Met Office Hadley Center people didn’t put that very info or at least a reference on their graph page.

    Meaningless ancedotal input: I don’t know just how urban the CET sites are, but it sure seems to me just from having lived on the outskirts and worked in a number of different major metro areas in the USA, that for any major urban area, 0.2 degrees can’t be enough of a correction – at least not for summer temps, including day, night & mean.

  68. Ian W says:
    November 1, 2011 at 3:30 pm
    ‘we cannot think of anything else so it must be X’.
    Solar activity is now at the level of a century+ ago so the climate should be too, and it isn’t

    Stephen Wilde says:
    November 1, 2011 at 4:15 pm
    The empirical evidence to the contrary is increasing by the day.
    Or by the minute?
    Solar activity is now at the level of a century+ ago so the climate should be too, and it isn’t

    • Leif says,

      “Solar activity is now at the level of a century+ ago ”

      Well the difference between now and the peaks of the previous several cycles is large enough to convince me that there is a link to the climate shifts that occurred during the past 50 years. Or do you say that there is no significant change from cycle 23 to cycle 24 ?

      “so the climate should be too, and it isn’t”

      That is about the weakest assertion I’ve heard for some time. With so many variables in the system why the **** should the climate now be ‘at the level’ (whatever that means as regards climate) as it was when the sun was at a similar level of activity.

      For one thing we are further along a 500 year upswing and maybe even not yet at the peak so why should it instantly reverse when the sun just pauses for a while ? Why should a climate state that it took 110 years to reach suddenly revert to that long past state after only half of a less active solar cycle. It is more likely to take 110 years of quieter sun and slowly cooling global temperatures to get back to that position.

      Sorry Leif, but you are increasingly out on a limb as regards climate, but then your field of expertise isn’t climate is it ?

  69. re: John B says: November 1, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    @Kev: CET is only England – too local. @Tony: ditto.
    Look at Berlin 1740-1760 in table 5. Impressive warming! But in Central England, just a few hundred miles away… cooling! You are concentrating on local effects beause they appear to tell you what you want to hear. Come on guys…

    First you claim all we need to prove AGW is clearly shown in table 5. Now you claim that same table is too local. Which is it, make up your mind.

    As to Berlin v CET 1740-1760, I sure don’t know what you are looking at, because both show warming over that period.

    I suspect you could stand to take your own advice, and consider that perhaps you are the one seeing what you want to see rather than what those graphs actually say from an unbiased scientific standpoint.

  70. Stephen Wilde says:
    November 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm
    Well the difference between now and the peaks of the previous several cycles is large enough to convince me that there is a link to the climate shifts that occurred during the past 50 years.
    There was no grand modern maximum. All cycles after SC18 are wrongly calibrated [20% too high]

    With so many variables in the system why the **** should the climate now be ‘at the level’ (whatever that means as regards climate) as it was when the sun was at a similar level of activity.
    Because as you say the evidence that the Sun controls the climate is growing by the day, no?

    Sorry Leif, but you are increasingly out on a limb as regards climate, but then your field of expertise isn’t climate is it ?
    It is actually the physics of the Earth and the Atmosphere [earlier called ‘geophysics’].

  71. hswiseman says:
    November 1, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Charles Minard’s 1869 chart showing the losses in men, their movements, and the temperature of Napoleon’s 1812 Russian campaign.
    __________________________

    I love that graph, I have it framed in the kitchen. So much information packed in one graph.

  72. Maurizio Morabito (omnologos) says:
    November 1, 2011 at 5:02 pm
    I hereby nominate Leif’s so the climate should be too, and it isn’t as a new item for “Climate Craziness of the Week”…
    I agree: just because the sun is the same does not mean that the climate will be similar, as the sun has no significant influence on the climate.

  73. Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 1, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Ian W says:
    November 1, 2011 at 3:30 pm
    ‘we cannot think of anything else so it must be X’.
    Solar activity is now at the level of a century+ ago so the climate should be too, and it isn’t

    Stephen Wilde says:
    November 1, 2011 at 4:15 pm
    The empirical evidence to the contrary is increasing by the day.
    Or by the minute?
    Solar activity is now at the level of a century+ ago so the climate should be too, and it isn’t
    __________________________

    Are the Oceans at the same temp as a century+ ago??? If not how can the temp be the same? The sun is A factor not THE ONLY factor.

    In poking around on the internet I found this relatively new paper:
    Sep 9 2011 10,000 Years of Andean Glacier Melt Explained

    IRD researchers and their partners(1) have succeeded in explaining 10 000 years of glacial melt in the Andes through work recently published in Nature. They showed that the Telata glacier in Bolivia retreated 3 km during the Holocene epoch covering that time and continuing in the present. This regression was linked mainly to a 3°C increase in atmospheric temperatures resulting from warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean, itself a response to a rise in insolation (2) in the tropics.

    Results showed that in 10 000 years the glacier surface shrank by more than 90% and that the ice front had receded by 3 km. This regression started very slowly, but accelerated strongly from the early 19th Century retreating another 2 km between 1820 and today

    ……..The Telata ice masses therefore waxed and waned over geological time in close correlation with the tropical Pacific. Glaciologists already knew that the current melting of the Andean glaciers was related to this ocean, but they had hitherto obtained no data on the existence of this relation in the past…..
    Journal Reference:

    1. Vincent Jomelli, Myriam Khodri, Vincent Favier, Daniel Brunstein, Marie-Pierre Ledru, Patrick Wagnon, Pierre-Henri Blard, Jean-Emmanuel Sicart, Régis Braucher, Delphine Grancher, Didier Louis Bourlès, Pascale Braconnot, Mathias Vuille. Irregular tropical glacier retreat over the Holocene epoch driven by progressive warming. Nature, 2011; 474 (7350): 196 DOI: 10.1038/nature10150

    The paper has the usual CAGW get out of peer review card added.

  74. re: John B says: November 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Actually, the IPCC say something more like, “we have tried everything else, inluding the factors that skeptics like to cite (Sun, volcanoes, ENSO, etc.), but those factors can’t explain late 20th C warming whereas X can”.

    Saying “we tried everything we could think of, and only X can explain it” isn’t science. Correlation isn’t causation – especially when there are many uncontrolled confounding factors involved, large uncertainties, new totally unexpected discoveries left and right, and we haven’t even gone outside the bounds of the null hypothesis – natural variability. Until they can explain previous periods in history with as or more significant warming trends than the past century, more even than the past 50-60 years (e.g., when CO2 levels really started climbing), then it’s still moot.

    Saying “we don’t know what it is, so it must be CO2″ is simply bogus pseudo-science. They haven’t ‘tried everything’ because they don’t KNOW everything – and a lot of what they do “know” is in scientific contention. Just a single example; in the past few years peer reviewed papers have come out saying that soot/black carbon could be responsible for anywhere from something like 30% to 80% of the warming that’s been attributed to AGW (or was the range 50% to 100%? large percentage anyhow & several different papers).

  75. “We estimated around one third of all stations to be cooling, a figure now endorsed by the Berkeley study.”

    Has anybody had the time at this early date to look at what this signifies? What is different about cooling stations versus warming stations; geographic distribution, station quality, record length etc.? A hemispheric divergence would mean something entirely different than a regional or even a seeming random distribution. It could even stem from poor methodology, perish the thought. Steve McIntyre appears to be looking the possibility of warm biases induced by the method of chopping up the temperature records for processing.

  76. Rational Debate says:
    November 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    re: John B says: November 1, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    @Kev: CET is only England – too local. @Tony: ditto.
    Look at Berlin 1740-1760 in table 5. Impressive warming! But in Central England, just a few hundred miles away… cooling! You are concentrating on local effects beause they appear to tell you what you want to hear. Come on guys…

    First you claim all we need to prove AGW is clearly shown in table 5. Now you claim that same table is too local. Which is it, make up your mind.

    As to Berlin v CET 1740-1760, I sure don’t know what you are looking at, because both show warming over that period.

    I suspect you could stand to take your own advice, and consider that perhaps you are the one seeing what you want to see rather than what those graphs actually say from an unbiased scientific standpoint.

    ==================

    What I said was:

    “And if you look at them honesty, all you need to prove AGW to yourself is there in those charts.

    The ones that show appropriate coverage, timescale and axes clearly show anomalous recent warming. The ones that show inappropriate coverage ( too local), timescale (too long so the recent period is obscured or too short so you can’t see the trend) or y-axis (too flattened) don’t show it.”

    And on Berlin vs. CET: CET warms steadily pre 1740 while Berlin is flat. Berlin Warms 1740 – 1760 while CET is flat or cooling (yes, CET then spikes at around 1760). The point being, they do not correlate. Look at Table 6 in general – no correlation. If you want to see what is happening globally, you have to look at Tables 1, 2, 4 or a zillion others like them.

    One day you will get it. Guess not today.

  77. Speaking of Sea Surface temp and cycles here is another interesting paper that identifies a 600 yr cycle.

    02 April 1992 Molecular record of secular sea surface temperature changes on 100-year timescales for glacial terminations I, II and IV

    … We have sampled alkenone stratigraphic records at 70- to 200-yr intervals across glacial terminations I, II and IV in sediment cores from OOP site 658, off northwest Africa5. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) derived from the alkenone (U k 37) index6–8vary rapidly beyond the range of analytical noise by up to 2.5 °C in 300 yr, showing hitherto unknown cycles with about 600-yr periodicities. Some of the changes parallel similar events in the oxygen isotope stratigraphy. SST oscillations may be linked, in part, to abrupt breakdowns in Atlantic deep-water ventilation resulting from meltwater events of Quaternary glacial terminations.

  78. Here is another interesting temperature proxy to add to the collection.

    (Close your eyes Lief)

    Chinese climate data 1580-1990

    A comparison of solar cycle length with phenological data has been presented by Hameed and Gong (1993). These authors combined the data of blossoming of plants noted in personal diaries and other documents originating from the area of the Middle and Lower Yangtze River Valley with records of the last day of snow event in the spring season of each year between 1720 and 1800 kept in the Palace Museum in the Forbidden City. The combined data sets made it possible to estimate the long-term variation of spring temperature in the region from 1580 to 1920…..

    http://www.tmgnow.com/repository/solar/lassen1.html

    A graph follows.

  79. Leif Svalgaard I suggest that you pop down the corridor and have a chat with Dr. Richard Muller. He has just published a paper that can reconstruct actual ‘true’ data points if instrumentation or analytical methodologies have changed. I bet his ‘physics based’ reconstruction algorithm would give you the right answer right away.

  80. For all we know, the late twentieth century warming might be due to the large amount of water vapor injected into the stratosphere by continuous flights into that region by The SST, the Strategic Air Command and their Soviet and Chinese equivalents during the Cold War period. However, I fully expect that anthropogenic H2O constituted a very miniscule portion of the total stratospheric H2O.

    Scientific American:
    “Is Water Vapor in the Stratosphere
    Slowing Global Warming?”

    “A mysterious” [10%] “drop in water vapor in the lower stratosphere might be slowing climate change”
    By David Biello | January 29, 2010 | 104

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=is-water-vapor-in-the-stratosphere-slowing-global-warming

    Perhaps a ‘mysterious’ 10% rise in the water vapor of the lower stratosphere caused most of the observed ‘climate change.’

  81. re: John B says: November 1, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    What I said was: “And if you look at them honesty, all you need to prove AGW to yourself is there in those charts. The ones that show appropriate coverage, timescale and axes clearly show anomalous recent warming. The ones that show inappropriate coverage ( too local), timescale (too long so the recent period is obscured or too short so you can’t see the trend) or y-axis (too flattened) don’t show it.”

    And on Berlin vs. CET: CET warms steadily pre 1740 while Berlin is flat. Berlin Warms 1740 – 1760 while CET is flat or cooling (yes, CET then spikes at around 1760). The point being, they do not correlate. Look at Table 6 in general – no correlation. If you want to see what is happening globally, you have to look at Tables 1, 2, 4 or a zillion others like them.

    One day you will get it. Guess not today.

    Don’t be disingenuous John. You quote yourself, but leave out the relevant part, which is where you pointed us to Table 5 as supposedly being proof of your initial assertation:

    “And if you look at them honesty, all you need to prove AGW to yourself is there in those charts….Take a closer look at Table 5. The main part seems to say “nothing to see here”, but look at the little figures on the right. You can clearly see the uptick in the latter 20th C. It was there all along, but appropriate axes make it clear. If you cannot see it from those charts, then I suggest you are asking not “what does this tell me?”, but rather “how can I look at this and see what I want to see?”

    As to Berlin vs. CET – again, you chose the specific table, you chose the locations, you chose the timeframe – but actually looking at your selections disprove your point, rather than proving it. Now you try moving the goal posts entirely. You didn’t specify “pre-1740.” You specified 1740-1760. Even your latest claim appears to be incorrect – 1740 CET was in a deep trough and rapidly climbed out of it, then it stayed relatively level. 1740 Berlin was also in a deep trough, but it climbed out a bit slower – then (you chose a bad example), there is a big chunk of 1750’s missing from Berlin where it’s impossible to say what happened in those years.

    More importantly – why would you expect to see exact or even close correlation between Berlin & CET or any others? The degree of correlation is relatively meaningless – even the BEST study showed that something like 30% of all sites around the world have been cooling over the past 60 years. It’s not year by year or even decade by decade correlation between a very few select points that has any meaning even according to the IPCC – it’s a matter of whether overall the planet has been warming or cooling on a much longer timeframe. It’s a dynamic system, and each specific location is affected differently based on topography, prevailing winds or jet streams, nearness of large bodies of water, and so on. Why would you expect them to all show clear correlation over a matter of a single decade or even two? Clearly overall the world has been slowly climbing out of Little Ice Age temperatures into the more moderate temperatures of today.

  82. Mike D says
    During the Eocene it was 20°C warmer, and Life thrived.
    ——
    I think you might have overlooked the odd mass extinction here and there.

    Considering you are so nonchalant about these kinds of temperature rises does this mean that the USA has a secret plan to annex the Antarctic, Canada and Siberia? That might upset a few people.

  83. So the take home lesson from all of these anecdotal accounts of variable climate is that the climate is a machine that does lots of stuff for unknown reason or subtle reasons or no reason at all. I think we all knew that.

    So for unknown reasons you guys think it’s safe to play with the levers.

  84. Was the Sun a non-issue during the MWP?

    Also, could we not have any “foot taps”. Flashbacks. Sorry. Very stressful.

  85. Gail Combs says:
    November 1, 2011 at 5:41 pm
    resulting from warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean, itself a response to a rise in insolation (2) in the tropics.
    This has nothing to do with solar activity, but with the shape and orientation of the Earth orbit and tilt.

    DocMartyn says:
    November 1, 2011 at 6:01 pm
    Leif Svalgaard I suggest that you pop down the corridor and have a chat with Dr. Richard Muller. He has just published a paper that can reconstruct actual ‘true’ data points if instrumentation or analytical methodologies have changed. I bet his ‘physics based’ reconstruction algorithm would give you the right answer right away.
    Commenters here have a hard time getting the facts right. It would be a long corridor to stretch from Stanford to Berkeley. And your ill-advised comment just reflects poorly on you.

  86. LazyTeenager says:
    November 1, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    So the take home lesson from all of these anecdotal accounts of variable climate is that the climate is a machine that does lots of stuff for unknown reason or subtle reasons or no reason at all. I think we all knew that.

    So for unknown reasons you guys think it’s safe to play with the levers.

    Absolutely! Please push the lever forward that puts that life-giving CO2 into the atmosphere so we can feed the world’s 7 billion people more abundantly. Or are you advocating that these people should starve to death because you’re somehow worried that we’ll reach some ill-defined nebulous fictitious tipping point that nobody, including you, has adequately defined or identified?

    So here’s your chance–explain to one and all what this “tipping point” is, how it will come to be, and when it will occur. Barring that, just fall back to an explanation of your version of “levers” so we all know what you consider essential (or is CO2 NOT one of them?)

    I’d submit that climate is no machine at all–it has no levers, and demonstrates no linear attributes whatsoever. However, CO2 is far more beneficial than harmful.

  87. Tony

    I apologise for commenting before I have properly read your article. A quick glance of this suggests that it is very interesting and I intend reading it in detail.

    One point that occurs to me arising out of the second plot ( table 2 Decadal Land-Surface Average Temperature) is that if you put a straight line plot betwwn 1800 and 1942 (this would run from about -0.8 deg through to just over +0.15) and continue that straight line it would intercept 2000 at about +0.7deg which is very similar to the HadCru figure. Such a straight line would suggest that there was cooling between 1942 and say 1990,

    If there was relatively little influence by CO2 between 1800 and 1942 then such a straight line fit suggests that post 1942 CO2 had little if any effect on what would have been projected 2000 temperatures, ie., if the natural warming that had taken place between 1800 and 1942 continued unabated and at the same rate one would have expected by the year 2000 to have a temperature anomaly of circa +0.7deg.

    I believe that it would be interesting to see table 2 overlayed with such a straight line plot (although I myself dislike straight line fits on data which appears to be more than simply noisy and which appears to be be displaying some unidentified cycular changes).

  88. Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Insufficient data, or the wrong data will do much the same thing.
    Natural Variability is a vague term.
    Some are interested in the mechanisms and inner workings of it, some are bored to tears by it.
    The Literary Record, as I have often stated, was put there by people who experienced significant events in Climate. If it wasn’t worth mentioning, they didn’t waste precious time and paper.
    It’s up to us to figure out the mechanisms….provided we have interest in such matters.

  89. Rockyroad says
    I’d submit that climate is no machine at all–it has no levers, and demonstrates no linear attributes whatsoever. However, CO2 is far more beneficial than harmful.
    ———
    Seems you have a limited notion of machine if you want to restrict the definition to systems which are linear. Let’s just say I can think of non-linear machines.

    Let’s consider a machine you are familiar with: a car. It’s beneficial to put your foot on the accelerator. It’s even fun to occasionally put you foot down hard or wizz down a mountain road.

    However if you overdo it you can blow up the engine or run off the road and wrap the car around a tree trunk.

    Similarly it’s beneficial to add more CO2, but not if you overdo it.

  90. “Was the Sun a non-issue during the MWP?
    Go to slide 20 of http://www.leif.org/research/Does%20The%20Sun%20Vary%20Enough.pdf and decide for yourself.”

    Referring to solar output (as in TSI) yet again is a non answer.

    I long ago accepted that the small variation in TSI is not sufficient to explain what we observe. The issue of changing wavelengths and mixture of particles is much more likely to be responsible by affecting atmospheric chemistry to change the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere. Most likely involving ozone quantities differentially through the vertical column as per Joanna Haigh’s comments about ozone increasing above 45km whilst the sun was less active between 2004 and 2007. That ties in neatly with the cessation of stratospheric cooling since the mid 90s as solar cycle 23 began to come down from the peak. Some component(s) of solar output started changing around that time.

    The solar effect seems to be greatest at the poles where the intensity and shape of the polar vortices appears to be affected.

    An active sun seems to cool the stratosphere and mesosphere above the poles to draw the components of the surface pressure distribution poleward so as to create greater zonality whereas a quieter sun appears to do the opposite.

    The consequence of an active sun is less global cloudiness, lower global albedo, more solar energy into the oceans and a slow build up of energy within the oceans so as to skew ENSO in favour of El Nino dominance. That then filters into a warmer AMO over a period of years eventually getting into the Arctic and melting sea ice from below.

    The process is slow and erratic due to the additional internal system variability especially from within the oceans and also because of the variability within each solar cycle and from cycle to cycle.

    Nonetheless over centennial timescales the effect is discernible as during the 20th century when the active sun led to a clear poleward shift. Someone assessed the late 20th century poleward shifting at about 1.5 miles per annum.

    Over a millennium such as MWP to LIA to date that solar induced latitudinal shifting emerges as the primary climate change mechanism. The northern hemisphere mid latitude jets during the LIA were well south of where they are now from evidence in ship’s logs and elsewhere. There is some evidence from the MWP that those jets were even more poleward than today during that period.

    I am not currently aware of any observations that would preclude that scenario. Contrary evidence is invited.

  91. Don’t worry Leif.everybody’s entitled to hold one or two irrational beliefs so you can keep your “the sun doesn’t influence the climate” held tight next to your heart.

    After all Greek spending is back to what it was years ago but the borrowing crisis continues unabated thereby demonstrating that past overspending has no influence on a State’s economic situation.

  92. Gail Combs at 5.54

    The link went to a domain name company, can you repost it please?

    Your Chinese study immediately following was most interesting

    hswiseman

    I used the Minard graph in a previous article, It is brilliant and I can’t help feeling that someone out there has the skills to represent our climate in a similarly innovative manner

    Robert Austin
    When we identifed a third of all stations as cooling and Muller did the same, I thought that his study would spark widespread comment. Our concern was that of cherry picking but I guess all work depends on certain parameters being set
    tonyb

  93. Dear Lazy, here’s a free paleoclimatology lesson for you:

    About 90 mya, in the Cretaceous Period of the Mesozoic Era, global temperatures reached a maximum, perhaps 40-50°F warmer than now. Atmospheric carbon dioxide was perhaps 10-20 times thicker than now, and oxygen concentrations half again more than current levels. Earth was a greenhouse bursting with life. But then the temperatures started to fall. Sauropod dinosaurs gave way to ornithopod dinosaurs, smaller, faster, more bird-like, and probably warm-blooded.

    The currently accepted hypothsis for the temperature decline are that Pangea was fractured and the landmasses were drifting apart. With less bumping and grinding of continents, volcanic activity waned. Consequently CO2 levels dropped. Antarctica drifted over the South Pole, and ice began to build up, lowering global sea levels.

    Then at 65 mya the Big Meteorite struck. Mass extinctions occurred, but global temperatures rose afterwards, perhaps because of increased volcanic activity associated with Chicxulub. The Impact marks the boundary between the Mesozoic Cretaceous and the Cenozoic Tertiary, which consists of the Paleocene (65-54.8 mya), the Eocene (54.8-33.7 mya), the Oligocene, (33.7-23.8 mya), the Miocene, (23.8-5.4 mya), and the Pliocene (5.4-1.8 mya) Epochs.

    Global temperatures reached their highest post-Cretaceous levels at about the Paleocene-Eocene transition, and they have been falling ever since. At least five major extinction events occurred in the Eocene alone:

    The Lutetian-Bartonian event (41 mya)

    The Bartonian-Priabonian event (37 mya)

    The Late Priabonian event (35 mya)

    The Terminal Eocene event (33.5 mya)

    The Late Rupelian event (30.5 mya)

    All these extinction events were associated with reductions in global temperature, thinning CO2, declining rainfall, and falling sea levels. The story is reported with great scientific rigor by Dr. Alan Graham, Paleontologist Emeritus of Kent State, in his Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic History of North American Vegetation, 1999, Oxford Univ. Press. Despite the dry tone and frequent scientific conditionals, the tale told by Dr. Graham is spellbinding:

    [The Late Rupelian] event essentially eliminated most [oceanic] holdovers from the warmer Late Eocene and transitional early Oligocene as marked by the extinction of many cool-water foraminifera and nanoplankton, oxygen isotope records, and a fall in sea level. From ~32 mya through 30 mya… the largest sea-level drop in Tertiary history is recorded, and it likely was the result of the beginning of full continental glaciation on Antarctica. …

    The events… culminated in a rapid change in European fauna known as the Grande Coupure (the great break). Sixty percent of the mammals of Europe became extinct at about 32.5 mya. … During [the same period] a number of archaic forms disappeared from North America, further reducing prior similarities with European fauna. … About 60% of Early Oligocene genera were new to North America.

    And that’s just the fauna. The flora was also profoundly affected by the cooling. And after 60 million years of cooling, we plunged into the Pleistocene (1.8mya to present) — the coldest period in planetary history since the Karoo Ice Age 360–260mya.

    It’s plenty cold enough right now. Warmer is Better. Fight the Ice.

  94. Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 1, 2011 at 2:21 pm
    …………
    Agree with lot of that. From what I can understand, I do not think that TSI (or UV as part of it or on its own) variations are sufficient enough to affect global climate change such as LIA or the MWP. It is not certain if either was global or only the N.H. I am inclined to think that the origin is in the Arctic area and its effects have subsequently affected wider area.
    Certain degree of understanding of complexity of events in the Arctic is required to get a more complete picture. The BEST’s comment regarding the Atlantic Oscillations is finally leading in the right direction. Main problem is that the origin of the AMO is a big puzzle for most climate scientists, but it shouldn’t be. All anyone needs to know is encapsulated in the graphs here:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CDr.htm

    The meaning of it will be clear soon, since the arguments ‘solar via TSI’ against the ‘CO2 back radiation’ appear to be nearly exhausted. Geomagnetic field is in main

  95. Stephen Wilde says:
    November 2, 2011 at 12:05 am
    Referring to solar output (as in TSI) yet again is a non answer.
    ‘TSI’ is just a common metric for solar activity. The curves shown are actually derived from cosmic ray measurements and are perhaps more correctly expressed as the solar large-scale magnetic field. Thus ‘TSI’ is just ‘solar activity’. This covers solar wind density, pressure, EUV, anything you like as all of these things are strongly correlated. If you think there is a completely different solar quantity that controls the climate let us know. Perhaps produce a plot of how that unknown thing varied.

  96. For everyone quoting global temperature in the paleoclimate, those are all extremely exaggerated numbers.

    The Cretaceous, at 94 Mya was +10C, the Eocene was +6C (and there may have been a short rise of 2C to 5C during the PETM event).

    +20C? +50F? , those came from a climate scientist who was trying to snow you.

  97. Tony, thank you for this summary. I think Jay here states an important perspective.

    Jay Davis says: November 1, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    This post by Tony Brown is an interesting read and pretty much spot on. One of the biggest problems I have with the AGW crowd is that, as a rule, none of them have any idea of what went on in the past. It’s like they have never studied history, read any historically accurate novels, or for that matter, researched anything in the past at all. To their minds, nothing significant occurred with regards to the weather or climate until the latter half of the twentieth century!

  98. Ulric Lyons says:
    November 2, 2011 at 5:36 am
    “Was the Sun a non-issue during the MWP?”
    “Go to slide 20 of http://www.leif.org/research/Does%20The%20Sun%20Vary%20Enough.pdf and decide for yourself….”
    Why not go to slide 19 ?

    Mainly because the question was about the MWP which is not covered by slide 19. What you see in slide 19 is that the commonly used indicator for cosmic ray intensity, the modulation parameter P, fails at low solar activity [oval]. The reason is that the formula for calculating the P is derived under the assumption that the heliosphere is spherically symmetric, which it is not when activity is low.

  99. Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 2, 2011 at 6:18 am
    If you think there is a completely different solar quantity that controls the climate let us know. Perhaps produce a plot of how that unknown thing varied.

    Two main combatants are rapidly running out of ammunition (CO2, TSI, UV,GCR etc), and when they do there will be words accompanying the graph:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CDr.htm

    For time being it’s pointless running into crossfire.

  100. @Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 2, 2011 at 6:58 am
    “What you see in slide 19 is that the commonly used indicator for cosmic ray intensity, the modulation parameter P, fails at low solar activity [oval].”

    During SC13.
    So the graph does not cover the MWP, but late Maunder and Dalton are very apparent.

  101. M.A.Vukcevic says:
    November 2, 2011 at 7:11 am
    Two main combatants are rapidly running out of ammunition (CO2, TSI, UV,GCR etc), and when they do there will be words accompanying the graph:
    Who would care?

  102. Ulric Lyons says:
    November 2, 2011 at 9:42 am
    So the graph does not cover the MWP, but late Maunder and Dalton are very apparent.
    As I explained, the cosmic ray modulation parameter is not reliable at low solar activity, but there is little doubt that activity now, ~1900, ~1800, and ~1700 were similarly low [an approximate 100-yr cycle], but again that does not tell us much about the MWP.

  103. @Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 2, 2011 at 10:00 am

    At least we have your confirmation that SC13 was low activity “[oval]”.

  104. Ulric Lyons says:
    November 2, 2011 at 10:18 am
    At least we have your confirmation that SC13 was low activity “[oval]“.
    SC13 was on par with SC23 which was lower that the previous cycles. The oval shows where the cosmic ray proxy underestimates solar activity [is wrong].

  105. Ration debate says:

    “More importantly – why would you expect to see exact or even close correlation between Berlin & CET or any others? The degree of correlation is relatively meaningless – even the BEST study showed that something like 30% of all sites around the world have been cooling over the past 60 years. It’s not year by year or even decade by decade correlation between a very few select points that has any meaning even according to the IPCC – it’s a matter of whether overall the planet has been warming or cooling on a much longer timeframe. It’s a dynamic system, and each specific location is affected differently based on topography, prevailing winds or jet streams, nearness of large bodies of water, and so on. Why would you expect them to all show clear correlation over a matter of a single decade or even two? Clearly overall the world has been slowly climbing out of Little Ice Age temperatures into the more moderate temperatures of today.”

    ——————-

    I absolutely don.t expect to see correlation, which is exactly my point. The fact that is warmed for 20 or 30 years in England is not proof of anything. Which is why you can’t discount the anomalous global warming of the late 20th C by saying “but it warmemd in England like that in the 18th C”, Nowhere will you find evidence of a global effect of anything like the same magnitude and rate at least as far back as civilization has existed, probably a lot longer.

    And if you look at global temperatures over the last few thousand years, you see,,, A hockey stick.

    (BTW: my reference to table 5 was just an example of how inappropriate axes mislead, and my reference to “pre 1740″ was in addition to pointing out there is no correlation between Berlin and CET between 1740 and 1760. I could perhaps have been clearer, but no disingenuity intended)

  106. @Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 2, 2011 at 12:21 pm
    “SC13 was on par with SC23″

    The thing about natural variability is that the temperature deviations are usually fairly brief, so to make any decent comparison, one would need to know monthly/weekly solar wind speed accurately. For example, during the very cold Feb 1895 (which incidentally is a very close astronomical analogue to the very cold Jan 1716).

  107. Ulric Lyons says:
    November 2, 2011 at 1:11 pm
    one would need to know monthly/weekly solar wind speed accurately. For example, during the very cold Feb 1895 (which incidentally is a very close astronomical analogue to the very cold Jan 1716).
    We do know the solar wind back then.

  108. Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 2, 2011 at 1:23 pm
    Ulric Lyons says:
    November 2, 2011 at 1:11 pm
    one would need to know monthly/weekly solar wind speed accurately. For example, during the very cold Feb 1895 (which incidentally is a very close astronomical analogue to the very cold Jan 1716).

    We do know the solar wind back then:
    http://www.leif.org/research/IAGA2008LS-final.pdf [Figure 13]
    but it does us no good as there is no correlation between solar wind speed and temperatures [based on more than a century of data]

  109. @Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 2, 2011 at 1:30 pm
    “there is no correlation between solar wind speed and temperatures”

    Low land temperatures can clearly be seen at low SW speeds from observational data.
    Inferred solar wind speed is not the same as observed so you don`t know the real monthly values back then.

  110. @Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 2, 2011 at 1:30 pm
    http://www.leif.org/research/IAGA2008LS-final.pdf [Figure 13]

    From what I can see of the the un-smoothed data there behind your bold black and red smoothed lines, there is an awful lot of mismatch between the observed and inferred data between 1964 and present, leaving me thoroughly unconvinced of your point of view.

  111. Ulric Lyons says:
    November 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm
    “there is no correlation between solar wind speed and temperatures”
    Low land temperatures can clearly be seen at low SW speeds from observational data.
    Inferred solar wind speed is not the same as observed so you don`t know the real monthly values back then.

    1st: the inferred speeds are pretty good, as you can see from this comparison with observations:
    http://www.leif.org/research/Solar-Wind-Reconstruction.png , so we do know with good approximation.
    2nd: comparing temps with observed values shows no correlation:

    So, that settles that.

  112. @Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm
    “So, that settles that.”

    No it does not, as you are using yearly NH temperature and SW data, the deviations are shorter term and will be lost in the averaging.

  113. Ulric Lyons says:
    November 2, 2011 at 3:13 pm
    No it does not, as you are using yearly NH temperature and SW data, the deviations are shorter term and will be lost in the averaging.
    If they are persistent and real, they should show up in the average. But you can try to produce a scatter plot of monthly SW speed and temperature to convince us otherwise.

  114. Ulric Lyons says:
    November 2, 2011 at 3:13 pm
    No it does not, as you are using yearly NH temperature and SW data, the deviations are shorter term and will be lost in the averaging.
    If I produce a plot of monthly global anomalies and monthly solar wind speed for all the spacecraft data and it shows no correlation [e.g. R^2 less than 0.1] would you stop maintaining that there is a correlation?

  115. Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 2, 2011 at 3:37 pm
    “If they are persistent and real, they should show up in the average.”

    Not if they are of different sign, they will cancel out.

    “But you can try to produce a scatter plot of monthly SW speed and temperature to convince us otherwise.”

    You could make a start with your own graph here: http://www.leif.org/research/Solar-Wind-Speed-Reconstruction.png
    and correlate the low points on the observed data (pink line) with a non maritime monthly temp` series such as CET: http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/tcet.dat looking for lower monthly values.
    The HADCRU NH land data appears to have an ENSO signal in it, this will be a problem in correlations between SW velocity and temp`s as El Nino`s occur on falling and lower SW speeds, precisely when -ve land temperatures will be occurring.

  116. Ulric Lyons says:
    November 2, 2011 at 4:02 pm
    Not if they are of different sign, they will cancel out.
    If they are of different signs and cancel out, then there is no effect.

    “But you can try to produce a scatter plot of monthly SW speed and temperature to convince us otherwise.”
    You could make a start with your own graph here

    You are the one making a claim…
    But if I did it and they were no correlationswould you stop maintaining that there is one?

  117. @Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 2, 2011 at 3:46 pm
    “If I produce a plot of monthly global anomalies and monthly solar wind speed for all the spacecraft data and it shows no correlation [e.g. R^2 less than 0.1] would you stop maintaining that there is a correlation?”

    That will not work because of the inverse response of ENSO, rural non coastal surface temperature measurements are what is needed.

  118. Ulric Lyons says:
    November 2, 2011 at 4:02 pm
    and correlate the low points on the observed data (pink line) with a non maritime monthly temp` series such as CET: http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/tcet.dat looking for lower monthly values.
    So, if I take the lowest monthly temperature from CET in each year and the solar wind speed for that month, and find they are not correlated would that suffice to make you admit there is no correlation?

  119. Ulric Lyons says:
    November 2, 2011 at 4:02 pm
    and correlate the low points on the observed data (pink line) with a non maritime monthly temp` series such as CET
    Since you probably are more into wiggle matching one could detrend CET and SW speed by subtracting a running 13-month mean and correlate the residuals. If that didn’t show any correlation would that suffice?

  120. Ulric Lyons says:
    November 2, 2011 at 4:02 pm
    and correlate the low points on the observed data (pink line) with a non maritime monthly temp` series such as CET
    Since you may want to eliminate the seasonal variation you may want to have me work with anomalies instead: subtracting the average seasonal variation?

  121. Ulric Lyons says:
    November 2, 2011 at 4:27 pm
    That will not work because of the inverse response of ENSO, rural non coastal surface temperature measurements are what is needed.
    So you admit that the possible response to solar wind cannot be measured

  122. RE: Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    SteveSadlov says:
    November 1, 2011 at 12:47 pm
    The climate has been wonderful for nearly 500 years – relatively warm, decent moisture, favorable for human expansion. All good things must come to an end.
    Quite wrong, for most of the last 500 years the climate has been miserable. Luckily it has now warmed up a bit.

    ==========================

    I admittedly set a low bar. My baseline is the Age of Migrations, against which even the so called “LIA” was a walk in the park. The worst of the LIA was at its start, from ~ the 100 Years’ War to ~ the time of Henry VIII. From that point on, nothing really too bad, in my book. ;-)

  123. Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 2, 2011 at 4:27 pm
    “If they are of different signs and cancel out, then there is no effect.”

    That is like saying 1997 winter was not cold because it was a warm year.

  124. @Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 2, 2011 at 5:35 pm
    “So you admit that the possible response to solar wind cannot be measured.”

    No I did not, I was telling you not to use global temp` data, because the ENSO response to SW speed is typically the opposite of that of land temperatures.

  125. @Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 2, 2011 at 4:56 pm
    “Since you may want to eliminate the seasonal variation you may want to have me work with anomalies instead: subtracting the average seasonal variation?”

    Deviations from normals is the standard.

  126. Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 2, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    “Since you probably are more into wiggle matching..”

    what, like this ?

    the reconstructed values are totally useless at a monthly or less scale.

  127. Well a whole lot of data to absorb. I first absorbed one obvious truth shown in the third graph; the one with the slow upward Temperature trend and the wild CO2 emissions graphs.

    The “catastrophic” rise (my accent) of the last 30 years; that has us all in a tizzy, looks like a ho-hum carbon copy (deliberate punning) of a similar “catastrophic” rise around 1700.

    I wonder if the peoples of the 1700s had some carbon sequestration programs to stop their global warming back then.

    A lot of nice data to try and absorb; I don’t know how you chaps find this stuff; thanx Tony.

    George

  128. George

    Thanks for your comment. This 400 year trend is apparent in a lot of highly scientific studies. Enough that you would have thought a funded researcher would have thought this trend significant enough to call attention to them and try to determine the cause.
    In my follow up article ‘The long slow thaw’ I identify some of these studies and extrapolate CET to 1550 through the use of the many records we have available.

    I suspect that the hockey stick has paralysed academic response as it has become so embedded as an icon of rapid change.
    tonyb

  129. Vuk

    Bearing in mind we have been on a long warming trend, will the predicted cool period be as serious as the depths of the LIA, or can we hope that it will be something between the LIA temperatures and those of today?

    tonyb

  130. M.A.Vukcevic says:
    November 3, 2011 at 5:24 am

    This 400 year trend is apparent in a lot of highly scientific studies.
    and it is about to flip. Future looks cool.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-NV.htm

    What do you mean by “flip”?

    Are you positing that we will parallel the trend of 1660 – 1730 CE, only offset by +1.0 C? Wouldn’t that be similar to the 1970s? They were suffering crop failures in the northern Peace River, Can. areas then. We should be able to weather that. (pun intended) GK

  131. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/28/loehle-vindication/

    re: John B says: November 2, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    I could perhaps have been clearer, but no disingenuity intended)

    Appreciated, and accepted.

    Rational Debate said: “… It’s not year by year or even decade by decade correlation between a very few select points that has any meaning even according to the IPCC – it’s a matter of whether overall the planet has been warming or cooling on a much longer timeframe….Why would you expect them to all show clear correlation over a matter of a single decade or even two?…”
    ——————-
    I absolutely don.t expect to see correlation, which is exactly my point. The fact that is warmed for 20 or 30 years in England is not proof of anything. Which is why you can’t discount the anomalous global warming of the late 20th C by saying “but it warmemd in England like that in the 18th C”, Nowhere will you find evidence of a global effect of anything like the same magnitude and rate at least as far back as civilization has existed, probably a lot longer. And if you look at global temperatures over the last few thousand years, you see,,, A hockey stick.

    (BTW: my reference to table 5 was just an example of how inappropriate axes mislead, and my reference to “pre 1740″ was in addition to pointing out there is no correlation between Berlin and CET between 1740 and 1760.

    You appear to be missing the key point of this entire article, John. There has only been “anomalous” warming of the late 20th century during the time when we were contributing any significant amount of CO2 to the atmosphere for approx. 2, maybe 3 decades at most. So of course you can compare to other very similar periods in the recent past, and say that the recent global warming is nothing unusual – it’s not anything out of the bounds of past natural variability. For that matter, it’s nowhere near being out of the bounds of past natural variability. You claim there’s no evidence of a global effect of the same magnitude and rate as long as civilization has existed, and that’s just not even close to what the historical record shows us. There has been greater warming, and faster rates, many times within the Holocene. Graph 6 of this article shows you a comparable period within the past few hundred years!

    The only place you find a ‘hockey stick’ is the very discredited Mann Hockey Stick, e.g., table 4 of this article. Reams of research both before and since that have found the Medieval Warm Period, Roman Warm Period, and Holocene Optimum to all be as warm or warmer than present day temperatures. They were all global events, as was the Little Ice Age, according to a number of different proxies taken from around the world. The current rate and magnitude of change is NOTHING compared to the spike of the Younger Dryas. Going much further back, just as an example of how extreme natural variation can be and how minimal the recent changes are in comparison, IIRC some peer reviewed published research shows a temperature change of about 5-8C in literally only a few of decades.

    Recent warming supposedly caused by man (e.g., the past 50 yrs or so), doesn’t come close to breaking the null hypothesis – it’s easily within the bounds of what we know about natural variability of the Earth’s climate.

    As to “pre 1740″… again, I don’t know what you are looking at, because your description simply doesn’t match the graphs. The 1730’s is all that exists for “pre 1740″ Berlin, and the graph shows that temperatures that decade were relatively flat for both Berlin and CET, then right about 1740 plummeted at both locations. In other words, yet again, there is correlation there that you are claiming doesn’t exist.

    And table 5? Again, according to your own words, a supposed clear proof of AGW was visible in those graphs. Yes, you claimed that the one view in those graphs was easy to misread because of axes etc., but you also claimed that in the other view the axes were ‘correct’ and showed AGW clearly. Only they don’t, nor did you use table 5 only to show ‘incorrect’ axes.

  132. Excellent post by the esteemed Tony Brown.

    And Rational Debate’s response is a perfect rejoinder to John B.

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